Darkness at Noon Questions and Answers
by Arthur Koestler

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How does Koestler depict Soviet Communism?

Koestler depicts Soviet Communism as a paradoxical system that breeds both unquestioning loyalty and paranoia. It is a system that demands all its people to give their unquestioning support to its leadership. At the same time, the system is capable of purging its own people to serve the needs and wishes of the leadership that views human life as expendable.

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Although it is never named outright in the novel, Koestler clearly intends the setting of Darkness at Noon to be the Soviet Union. References to the nation's shadowy leader, Number One, are meant to refer to Joseph Stalin. The background of this novel is the 1938 purges in which Stalin had real and perceived enemies executed on trumped-up charges after being convicted in show trials.

In Darkness at Noon , the Soviet Union is...

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